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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Friday 2 January 2009

My Suburb

January 2, 2009

by Suzan Abrams

The first thing on returning to Ireland from the Far East after weeks of noise and crowds, was of how quiet Dublin seemed in retrospect. I would say that Belfast stays as busy a city as London with Dublin being its reserved sister. It is a hushed winter. In the high stilled hours, even the birds tune down their melodies to whisper reverential niceties instead of drumming up a noise as they're prone to do at the odd hour of 2.00am, when a starling or two crash-bangs into insomnia. With no nightcap forthcoming, the birds quarrel. What fishwife notoriety as angry beaks spewing I-daren't-let-you-know-what...playact icicles for noisy saucepans, much to the amusement of bored stars.

Last evening as I walked the tree-lined pavements in my suburb, everything felt prayerful in a way that measured serenity and beauty, cloaked in its Sunday best. I felt locked in a jolly mood; strolling against the mystifying magnititude of time, yet careful not to slip over its edges. A crowd of sleepy festive birds now burping and nestled into their fat feathered breasts for a comfy down; greeted me with wee chirps. Leftover Christmas decorations still hung over doors and windows and sparkly trees peeped out anxiously on eavesdropping my footfall.

At the end of the street on which we live, is a delightful corner shop that opens its doors from the early morning to 10 at night. On popping in one frosty twilight, to buy a loaf of bread and milk, I felt graciously embedded in a scene from bestselling novelist, Rosamund Pilcher's September a sequel to The Shell Seekers and which I had read some years ago. It was a family saga drawn from whimsical notions of highly-strung human relationships, puppeting up a glorious play. Here Pilcher had described the same Scottish village scene - except that there were highlands - , a likely moody season, a gaily-lighted shop and two characters who dismayed on meeting each other, now bumping like clumsy shadows as they sought the odd provision. Stilted greetings masqueraded a remembered steamy love affair. Now, here I am with my books and stories, lost in a similiar picturesque scene.

Two days ago, in the bright night sky, I saw the shiny golden crescent of a moon pay homage to a resplendent Venus, eager for showy attention and hospitality. The beaming planet mirrored her sparkle, just in time for added tinsel.